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Abraham Van Meter (1842-1899)

Abe/Abram/Abraham C. Van Meter enlisted August 11, 1862, in Company A of the 30th Wisconsin Infantry.  During his service, he was promoted to corporal and then sergeant.  Van Meter mustered out with the Company on September 20, 1865.

Obituary from The Saint Croix Republican of January 26, 1899:


Abraham C. Van Meter.

Not for a long time has this community been so shocked as it was last Saturday morning when it learned that Mr. Van Meter had died during the night.  It was known that he had not been at his best for some days, but everyone supposed him substantially recovered.  He had spent the previous day and evening at his office, and had retired as usual.  Toward morning, he was found unconscious and breathing with difficulty, and soon expired.

Born in Newark, Ill., Jan. 2, 1842, Mr. Van Meter, with his parents, removed to Hudson, Wis., May 2, 1852.  He began to learn the printer’s trade in 1856.  During the Civil War, he enlisted in A Co., 30th Wis. Vol. Inf., in 1862, between the 2d and 9th of August.  He rose to the rank of sergeant, and served three years and two months, being mustered out in October, 1865.  His regiment was engaged entirely in detached service, during the first year in this State, during ’64 on the Yellowstone and upper Missouri rivers fighting the Indians, and finally in Kentucky and Tennessee.  The regiment was attached to Sherman’s 17th Army Corps, though it was never with the command till the time of its muster out.

For a year after the war, Mr. Van Meter lived in La Crosse, where he worked at his trade on the old La Crosse Republican, now the Republican and Leader, of that city. In 1866, he came to New Richmond and opened an office, and he has since been continuously the editor and publisher of THE SAINT CROIX REPUBLICAN, for the most part of this long period of more than thirty years, publishing the only paper in the town.

In November, 1870, Mr. Van Meter was married to Miss Frances Bagley, in La Crosse. Of their five children, all survive except one. His mother died in 1875, and his father May 30, 1898. He was the seventh in a family of nine children, all of whom survive him except a brother who died in the service during the Civil War.

Mr. Van Meter united with the Congregational church of New Richmond in 1871. Only three now procede his name of the church rolls. He has been a constant attendant upon its services, especially upon the Sunday school and the evening services, where his place was very rarely vacant. He was an interested and close student of the Bible and a sympathetic and attentive listener to the preaching.

Mr. Van Meter was in politics a staunch Republican, and always loyal to the best interests of the community. He was a kindly, brotherly man; original in thought and ever spent fewer idle moments than he. If by his own personal effort any convenience or enjoyment could be secured for the public, it was theirs without even the asking. Even the bluejays and the cedar birds could testify to his thoughtfulness for their comfort, and the half naked corn cobs and shreds of suet hanging in the trees about his home are silent witnesses of this trait in his make-up.

He was a close student of nature, and an ardent worshipper¹ at its shrine. Each shrub and blade of grass, each tree and flower were as familiar to him as the members of his household. He knew the names, the haunts, the habits of all the birds and small animals. Miles of distance were no obstacle to him when in search of the first flower of the season, and he knew the exact locality where each specimen would first make its appearance.

He was an active observer, and his intimate knowledge of widely diversified subjects and his social nature made him companionable to all classes.

Finally, it would be difficult to find a more true hearted [sic], loyal friend—one harder to part with.     F. W. E.


Whereas, the Insatiable Reaper of Time has, without warning, removed from earth all that is mortal of our genial and worthy newspaper contemporary, Abe C. Van Meter of the St. Croix Republican, therefore;

Resolved, By the publishers of the St. Croix County, that, in his death, the fraternity loses one of its oldest, best known an most versatile editors, and printers of this Valley; a popular associate, the Art Preservative.

Resolved, That our heartfelt sympathies be extended to the bereaved family in their deep affliction, with the wish that the Great Healer of all sorrows will bring to their hearts the balm of consolation in His own good time;

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions to be sent to the widow of our deceased associate, and friend.

Editor of Hudson True Republican.

  1. J. PRICE,
    Editor of Hudson Star-Times.
  2. K. HAWLEY,
    Editor of The Baldwin Bulletin.
  3. J. SCOTT,
    Editor of The New Richmond Voice.

Editor of Hammond News.

  1. H. TOWNER,
    Editor of The Tribune Glenwood.

Resolutions of Condolence

At a special meeting of B. L. Humphery Post, No. 103, Dept. of Wis. G. A. R. held at their headquarters in the city of New Richmond, Wis. January 23rd, 1899, the following Resolutions were unanimously adopted:

WHEREAS, Comrade Abe. C. VanMeter was suddenly and unexpectedly called to “That Bourne from whence no traveler returns” at the age of 57 years, and while it was known that he had not felt well for a week or more, yet he had been attending to his duties the day before his demise, and

WHEREAS, He was the publisher and proprietor of the oldest newspaper in our city, having made this place his home since the year 1869, during which time he had witnessed the growth and development of this place through all its gradations from a small unincorporated hamlet to the present time; and his pen wrote and his paper published various articles from time to time relative to the wishes and the needs of our people as the place advanced. Therefore be it

RESOLVED, That in the demise of Comrade VanMeter, this Post loses a valuable member, one who was not only a comrade of the Grand Army, but a person who served as a comrade in arms in the mane organization with a goodly number of the members of this Post, and the city loses a worthy citizen who, on account of his long reliance among the people, became a thoroughly identified with the interests of the place as to become, as it were, a permanent factor in every organization in the city.

RESOLVED, That we tend to his bereaved family our sincere sympathies in this, their hour of affliction, and we recommend each and every one of them to the tender mercies of a Divine Providence whose ways are past finding but “Who dealt all things well.”

RESOLVED, That these Resolutions be spread to our readers, that a copy be sent to the family of the deceased under the seal of this post, and a copy to our city paper for publication.

  1. N. HAWTIME, }
    THOM. PORTER, } Com.
    GEO. W. RIPLEY. }

Countersigned                                   Signed
J. L. RUTTY, Adjt.                           FRANCIS LAW, Com.


On the death of Mr. Abe C. Van Meter, late Editor of THE SAINT CROIX REPUBLICAN.

Dead! Did you say?
…..Van Meter dead; Oh, no;
…..It cannot be—I saw him, pass but yester eve
Upon his usual way.

Yet, pale he was, tho smiling still,
…..To those he greeted near,
…..with kindly words and brightening eye,
That gave men’s hearts a cheer.

Dead? yes; but he’ll ever live
…..In the minds of those he knew.
…..A man of worth and weighty thought,
A man of friendship true.

Fare thee well! Thou gentle spirit,
…..Friends and neighbors’ sorrowing prayer
…..Will follow then to endless realms
Where peace and love will great thee.

New Richmond, Jan. 21.                                         M. A. B.


1.  Now normally spelled “worshiper,” this is an old-fashioned way of spelling it.


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